Ministerial Screening: Malami Defends Tenure as Justice Minister

Abubakar Malami
Abubakar Malami
The screening of the ministerial nominees entered the third day on Friday as the Senate screened Abubakar Malami (Kebbi) and Hadi Sirika.

Malami is the immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) while Sirika is the immediate past Minister of State on Aviation.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate adjourned the exercise by 6:30p.m. on July 25, after screening 14 nominees.

Malami, while fielding questions at the Senate Committee of the Whole, said that the ministry under his watch had facilitated the prosecution of 63 terrorism cases and secured 59 convictions.

He said the Federal Government through the ministry had also increased the recovering of looted public funds in 2015 from N19 billion to N279 billion in 2018.

On why some bills passed by the senate were not signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Malami said that the issue was purely absence of intense collaborations in the various processes of passing the bills.

He said that there was the need to establish deep rooted collaborations from conception of a bill to convocation of public hearing to seek input of varied opinions for the good of the public.

Malami said that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) was refused assent because public interest was not factored in the bill.

He said that the PIGB passed provided more priority to the individual more than the public interest.

He also said the federal government had also taken up policies that would ensure the independence on funding of the Judiciary.

Malami, who got commendations for his laudable contributions as AGF was later asked to take a bow; Sirika (Katsina State), a former member of the senate was also asked to take a bow.

The third nominee, Dr Osagie Ehanire (Edo), who was the immediate Minister of State for Health was not available to be screened.
However, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo (PDP-Bayelsa), raising a point of Order 121, observed that a number of the ministerial nominees did not present their certificate of declaration of asset to senate.

He said that it was a breach of the constitution for the nominees not to have presented their certificates of asset declaration as intending public officers.

He said that failure of the nominees to present the certificate could result in their non-confirmation.

Commenting on the point of order, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, sitting as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, said that the order was noted.(NAN)